Pimpinela Escarlata, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”
There are some things that enrich our lives so much upon learning of them, we wonder how we ever functioned without knowledge of their existence: Cross-dressing luchadors is one of those things.
In this video, we see “Pimpinela Escarlata” at her most fabulous, battling “Pasion Kristal” and “Yuriko,” alongside “La Braza.” I’m not totally up on every aspect of the gender politics of luchadors, but apparently cross-dressing is commonplace for wrestlers that are more charismatic than athletic, so to speak.
Like luchador culture in general, it’s very rooted in theater and spectacle, just with hefty dollops of added camp and the fabulosity of drag. Frequently, the drag wrestlers compete in women’s matches as well. Most recently, “Pimpinela Escarlata” lost to a woman wrestler called “Sexy Star,” which resulted in Escarlata’s head being shaved.